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Authors: Labella, John Branzuela
Contributors: English Department
Keywords: democracy
human rights
Latin America
Subjects: American literature
Latin American studies
American studies
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation examines Latin Americanist representation in United States poetry. It is a study of the ways in which American poets have depicted persons, locales, and events in Mexico, Cuba, Brazil, and El Salvador. It is also an account of aesthetic and ethical concerns in a rarely studied but vital body of modern poetry. This study focuses on four U.S. poets and their work: Archibald MacLeish and Conquistador (1932), a long poem about the Spanish conquest of Mexico; Langston Hughes and Cuba Libre (1948), a translation undertaken with Ben Carruthers, based on the poems of Afrocubanist poet Nicolás Guillén; Elizabeth Bishop and Questions of Travel (1965), featuring a sequence of poems about Brazil; and finally. Carolyn Forché and The Country Between Us (1982), a poetry collection based on the human rights crisis in El Salvador. Each of the four chapters treats a form or aspect of lyric expression, namely: elegy, translation, pastoral, and vocality. "Lyric Hemisphere" takes an interdisciplinary approach. It presents close readings of poems with insights drawn from the history of U.S. relations with Latin America, American studies, and critical theory. Each chapter explores the poems' historical or cultural bearings alongside the formal study of lyric. And each is informed by archival and library research. The research materials include the poets' other works, their letters and journals, as well as newspaper articles, historical and sociological accounts relevant to each writer. It engages thinkers such as Hannah Arendt, Giorgio Agamben, Allen Grossman, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Walter Mignolo. This study suggests that the task of representing Latin America has been a challenging project for U.S. poets because of the former's paradoxical nearness and otherness, the difficult history it shares with the U.S., and its status as an object of fantasy and disdain. When U.S. poets meet the challenge of representing Latin America, it is because they are able to tap into the ancient as well as most innovative resources of lyric, and so to mark the important distinction between subjects and persons.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:English

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